Homage was paid to the late Pat Hardaway on Tuesday night at the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce’s seventh annual awards banquet.
The former Columbia County probate judge was posthumously given the chamber’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
“The role that she played in the development of this county will be felt long after all of us are gone,” said current county Probate Judge Alice Padgett, who presented the award to Hardaway’s family.
Since being elected county probate judge in 1980, Hardaway held the position unopposed until she died from an illness in July at 75.
Hardaway’s career with the county started 48 years ago. She served on the county’s first airport authority, development authority and board of elections, Padgett said. Hardaway also worked in the county clerk of superior court’s office and commissioners office and sat on the planning board for the county’s courthouse in Evans.
The award was accepted by Hardaway’s husband, Doug, and daughters Penny Saggus and Pam Postell.
“We know that mom would be both honored and humbled by this recognition,” Saggus said. “In all the things that mom did and helped to do and tried to do for Columbia County, it was never self-serving, but just her wanting what was best for the county and the people in it.”
Also awarded during the banquet were Georgia Bank & Trust for Business of the Year and Steed’s Dairy Farm for Small Business of the Year. Others who were recognized include Julia Heyman, of Rescare Home Care, for Volunteer of the Year; Charles Bennett, of Queensborough National Bank and Trust Co., for Ambassador of the Year; and Hardy Meyer, of Office Max, for Diplomat of the Year.
Tiffany Forrister, of Best Western Hotel, won the James O. McCormick Hospitality Award.
In addition, Yvonne Meeks stepped down from her position as the chamber’s chairwoman. David Duncan, with Georgia Power Co., will replace Meeks as the new chairman.